Objective Morality
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08-04-2014, 06:17 AM
RE: Objective Morality
Hello Artie, how is it going?

(08-04-2014 06:00 AM)Artie Wrote:  Where in the definitons of objective does it say...
Where in the definitions of objective does it say...
Where in the definitions of objective does it say...
Please excuse me for not having read all 41 pages of thread so far, but can I ask you to please provide those definitions? I'm not entirely sure of what you mean when you use the word "objective".

But I am intrigued by the fact that you use a plural when you refer to the notion attached to the word. Isn't there a single definition for the term? Are there different definitions that may hold true when considered from different perspectives? That's ironic.

Anyway, thanks for your clarifications if you provide them. Have fun!
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08-04-2014, 06:21 AM
RE: Objective Morality
(08-04-2014 06:17 AM)living thing Wrote:  Please excuse me for not having read all 41 pages of thread so far, but can I ask you to please provide those definitions? I'm not entirely sure of what you mean when you use the word "objective".
I listed them in my post number 378. Smile
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08-04-2014, 06:25 AM
RE: Objective Morality
(08-04-2014 06:17 AM)living thing Wrote:  ...
but can I ask you to please provide those definitions? I'm not entirely sure of what you mean when you use the word "objective".
...

Post #378.

Not too far back.

Thumbsup

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08-04-2014, 06:27 AM
RE: Objective Morality
(08-04-2014 06:00 AM)Artie Wrote:  ...
On the contrary, an objective fact is an objective fact no matter how many agrees or disagrees. If there is a thunderstorm it's an objective fact there is a thunderstorm no matter how many agree.

Again, you have switched to IS. We were talking about OUGHT.

Wink

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08-04-2014, 06:31 AM (This post was last modified: 08-04-2014 09:03 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Objective Morality
(08-04-2014 06:00 AM)Artie Wrote:  
(08-04-2014 05:41 AM)DLJ Wrote:  Morality to be truly objective needs to remain fixed even in the absence of subjects (e.g. us)
Where in the definitons of objective does it say that for something to be objective it needs to remain fixed even in the absence of subjects?
Quote:and also fixed as the environment changes.
Where in the definitions of objective does it say that something objective needs to be fixed as the environment changes? If there was a thunderstorm yesterday wasn't it an objective fact that there was a thunderstorm yesterday? And isn't it an objective fact there isn't one today because the environment has changed?
Quote:Even still, we can only really claim it as objective if everyone agrees (concensus morality)
Where in the definitions of objective does it say anything about something being objective if everyone agrees? On the contrary, an objective fact is an objective fact no matter how many agrees or disagrees. If there is a thunderstorm it's an objective fact there is a thunderstorm no matter how many agree.

And how in the hell do you think anyone knows there WAS a thunderstorm yesterday ?
They LEARNED the elements that are commonly agreed to, in the definition. Then they (subjectively) applied what they learned to what they perceived to be the observed events. The "thunderstorm" did not occur. A number of events occurred, which humans have agreed to define as a "thunderstorm". A number of meteorologists may or may not agree about the actual definitions. I see critical thinking is not exactly your strong suit. Discussing anything with you is a total waste of time. Bye yourself.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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08-04-2014, 06:35 AM
RE: Objective Morality
(08-04-2014 06:27 AM)DLJ Wrote:  
(08-04-2014 06:00 AM)Artie Wrote:  ...
On the contrary, an objective fact is an objective fact no matter how many agrees or disagrees. If there is a thunderstorm it's an objective fact there is a thunderstorm no matter how many agree.

Again, you have switched to IS. We were talking about OUGHT.

Wink
But there is nothing in the definitions about something becoming objective if all agree on it. Please find me any definition of objective at all having one line saying something like:

"Objective: something all agree on." Or "If all agrees on something it becomes objective."
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08-04-2014, 07:11 AM (This post was last modified: 08-04-2014 01:48 PM by DLJ.)
RE: Objective Morality
(08-04-2014 06:35 AM)Artie Wrote:  
(08-04-2014 06:27 AM)DLJ Wrote:  Again, you have switched to IS. We were talking about OUGHT.

Wink
But there is nothing in the definitions about something becoming objective if all agree on it. Please find me any definition of objective at all having one line saying something like:

"Objective: something all agree on." Or "If all agrees on something it becomes objective."

Exactly. I'm saying that the closest we can come towards something that we might be able to call Human Objective Morality is if we can all agree upon a framework / axiology / code of ethics by which we can form objective metrics.

Sam Harris's 'well-being' proposal based on measuring brain activity has potential but it's a long way from being formalised.

I was throwing you a bone.

In the meantime, I continue to hold the position that morality is relative (not absolute) and contextual (not intrinsic) and can only be measured subjectively (not objectively).

You have agreed that I have correctly understood your position... do you understand mine?

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08-04-2014, 07:44 AM
RE: Objective Morality
(08-04-2014 06:21 AM)Artie Wrote:  I listed them in my post number 378. Smile
Thank you, Artie, I appreciate that.

Those definitions sure look consistent across dictionaries, although I would have phrased the notion differently. Please don’t get me wrong, I am not arguing against the dictionaries, but I find that dictionaries compile the most common uses of words among speakers; I don’t think they necessarily define words’ objective meanings, if there is such a thing.

In my subjective view, objectivity has all to do with perspective, and not that much with human agreement.

I don’t think real, physically existing objects can be described as true or false; it is abstract notions about objects and concepts what may be true if they match the structure and/or behaviour of objects and concepts. But it is not an either…or situation, notions can be both true and false.

For example, imagine you look at a cube from a location right opposite one of its faces. The statement “the contour of a cube is a four-sided square” appears to be true from that point of view. Now move to a different location in relation to the object, so that you stare right into one of its vertices. From that new location, the statement “the contour of a cube is a six-sided hexagon” is true.

Both statements are conflicting statements, because one describes the shape as four-sided while the other describes it as six-sided. However, they are both true when considered from specific perspectives; neither is fully true nor fully false.

Now imagine that you look at a solid sphere instead of a cube. You can look at it from every possible perspective and, for as long as you see the complete contour, it will be a circle. In fact, if you find a perspective from which the complete contour of the object does not look like a circle, that will be enough to conclude that the object you are looking at is not actually a sphere. It may be argued that the contour of a sphere, when seen from a tiny distance away from its surface, in proportion to the sphere’s radius (like when some ancient people looked at this approximately spherical planet from a few feet above it surface), its contour looks like a flat line. But that is only the partial contour, if you go far enough into the ocean so that nothing covers your view of the horizon, the circle comes back, as the flat line 360º around you. The statement “the contour of a sphere is a circle” might be seen as an objective truth because its veracity does not seem to depend on the point of view of the subject considering it.

Subjective perspectives can be combined together logically in order to produce an objective notion: “the contour of a cube depends on the location of the observer”.

But perspectives are not just the locations from which our sensory organs extract information from reality; I can stand on your location after you move away, look in the same direction as you have just been, and I will most likely see a different scene. Our interests, our cultural backgrounds, our past experiences, our moods… many factors will cause us to pay attention to different details in the vast source of information that is around us, and to interpret the ones we both see differently.

Please note that you can perform the experiment of looking at an object from different angles by yourself, you needn’t agree with any other human being in order to extract those notions from reality. Agreement may suggest a common perspective, something that appears to be true from multiple points of view, but it cannot be what defines objectivity because every one of us is susceptible of being mistaken in our views. Even if we all agreed that the world is flat, that wouldn’t make it flat.

Is there any behaviour that can be objectively deemed right or wrong? I don’t know because I cannot consider the universe from every possible angle, but I doubt so. The idea of eating a human child alive, for example, seems awful from my perspective, but I am not so sure it is from the point of view of a hungry crocodile.

But I may be wrong, I am only describing my own subjective and possibly mistaken view. Please feel free to disagree.

Thanks again for your clarifications and have a great day!
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08-04-2014, 09:12 AM
RE: Objective Morality
(08-04-2014 12:41 AM)Artie Wrote:  I think I understand what you mean. Organisms have something called a survival instinct. I have a survival instinct, which is why I value my life. I understand that the vast majority of humans also have a survival instinct and value their lives. Because we evolved a survival instinct and value our lives we would like to be helped if we are in danger of losing it. We also evolved empathy and understand that others feel the same. So we do to others what we would like others do to us, which is help us to preserve our lives. The Golden Rule.

Noted, but full of subjective words like empathy and survival instinct (which causes people to both inflict and prevent pain and act selfishly and selflessly based on their personality, and is therefore not very objective nor consistent).

(08-04-2014 12:41 AM)Artie Wrote:  The proper action is the one that is most likely to cause the least pain to the least amount of people. Actions causing a lot of pain to a lot of people will most likely lead to them causing a lot of pain to you in return, even get you killed. And because you have a survival instinct and value your life you don't want that. Making an effort to cause the least amount of pain or even alleviate pain will cause others to do the same to you and you will increase everybody's chances of well-being and survival including your own.

I disagree. I'll summarize at the bottom.

(08-04-2014 12:41 AM)Artie Wrote:  You seem to confuse "objective" with "universally applicable" but what is objectively right behavior for humans may not be objectively right for other organisms. The objectively right behavior for a virus may cause me a lot of pain.

I get what you're saying, but objective does mean 'fact' and should therefore be consistent when applied. 50 degrees is 50 degrees - fact. Spherical is spherical - fact. 'Right' is not always 'right' and 'beneficial' is not always 'beneficial.'

'Survival instinct,' 'empathy,' 'value their lives' and other personal motivators do not make the golden rule objective, nor could it exist objectively if base on feelings and instincts, which vary greatly from person to person. If we are talking about objective morality, in this case, making an argument for or against the golden rule being free from interpretation and consistent in its outcome when applied, we need to remove our own personal feelings. It needs to be fact, not interpretation.

Right off the bat, 'do unto others' is open to subjective interpretation. I might find it humane to euthanize terminally ill patients who are chronically ill, perhaps causing them mental anguish but ending a much more severe physical anguish. I might want that same mercy given to me, therefore fulfilling the mutual clause. I could make a very good moral case for my actions. I could find a group of like-minded individuals who support me. I could genuinely believe I am doing a good thing; I am 'doing to others' as I want to 'receive'. It's all about me, based on my interpretation of what cooperation is. However, I might euthanize an ill patient only to incur violent wrath from the family, as well as anger from the patient who, subjectively, decided that living with pain and illness is better than not living at all. Or the family, riddled with debt and guilt over the situation, might thank me for ending their loved one's suffering when they were too guilt-ridden to do so. The system of measurement is not objective, and the outcome is unpredictable, inconsistent.

Additionally, if the golden rule is based on survival, we are not driven as a species by cooperation and friendship. We are driven by needs:
1. The need for resources (food, water) to continue surviving;
2. The need to procreate;

It's detrimental for all of us to survive, if the desired outcome is species survival (is there even an objective outcome?); overpopulation in any area diminishes resources and survival rates. The needs above are objective. It is a fact that no human can survive without them. 'Doing unto others' is not fact, and there will be times where actions taken against others, regardless pain, will yield the above resources. History supports this, as does behavioral science. We act as individuals when beneficial. We act as groups, or packs, when beneficial. We do what we need to survive; there is no objective morality involved.

I'm not talking about universal constants. We will constantly be faced with situations where survival and 'do unto others' are at odds, and situations where they are in harmony. The determining factor in our decision to take an action will be based on our individual, or subjective, rational and instinct.

The only objective statement regarding morality, in my opinion, is this one:
'A human will do what they, or their group, think is right and measure their actions against what they value.'

If Jesus died for our sins, why is there still sin? If man was created from dust, why is there still dust? If Americans came from Europe, why are there still Europeans?
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08-04-2014, 09:28 AM (This post was last modified: 08-04-2014 09:33 AM by Artie.)
RE: Objective Morality
(08-04-2014 07:11 AM)DLJ Wrote:  Exactly. I'm saying that the closest we can come towards towards something that we might be able to call Human Objective Morality is if we can all agree upon a framework / axiology / code of ethics by which we can form objective metrics.
Something doesn't become objective no matter if we all agree on it. On the contrary, something would be an objective fact even though nobody agreed on it. What you are suggesting here is the opposite of objective.
Quote:In the meantime, I continue to hold the position that morality is relative (not absolute) and contextual (not intrinsic) and can only be measured subjectively (not objectively).

You have agreed that I have correctly understood your position... do you understand mine?
No.

My position is this (and don't single out points read it as a whole):

1. We have a survival instinct. This is an objective fact.
2. It was hard wired into us by evolution, an objective process. This is an objective fact. I didn't exist before I was conceived so it wasn't my personal subjective opinion to be born with a survival instinct.
3. What is objectively moral is survival. Survival is morally right.
4. Well-being leads to enhanced chances of survival.
5. Actions that lead to well-being and survival are objectively moral, actions that lead to the opposite are objectively immoral.
5. Murder leads to non-survival therefore it is objectively morally wrong.
6. Helping people leads to survival therefore helping people is objectively morally right.

Now, sit down and use these six points as a basis for what is morally objectively right and wrong and elaborate on them. And what do you get?

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/

Don't tell us that what they wrote in The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is their subjective opinion... Wink
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